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4 nights in SF - Want to hike in Muir Woods, Point Reyes, Marin County


Jun 3rd, 2008, 12:56 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 326
4 nights in SF - Want to hike in Muir Woods, Point Reyes, Marin County

Hi there!

As some of you know (since you've provided me with so much assistance already!), my hubbie and I (and our 1-year-old son) are leaving on Saturday for 16 days in California! We're going to be traveling from San Diego up to San Francisco. We can't wait!

We have 4 days in SF... We'd like to see the city sights (we'll have Stu Dudley's tips on hand, of course), but we'd also like to do a day trip to Sonoma Valley, and use another one of our days to see the northern coast.

We've heard a lot of wonderful things about Point Reyes, Muir Woods and Marin County (including GGRA). My question is: what would you recommend for our day trip? We'd like to do some hiking - we have a backpack baby carrier, so we're not going to be limited to paved hiking trails by a stroller or anything. The longest hike I think we could handle with our little guy is about 4 hours, or else we could do a combination of several shorter hikes. Just FYI, we're big nature buffs and my husband is very into photography...

I've tried to look up information about this on this board, but there's nothing overly specific... I'd love to be able to print out a tentative plan and some trail maps before we head out...

I'd love to hear your recommendations - thanks in advance!!!

alwaysafrica is offline  
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Jun 3rd, 2008, 02:06 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 1,360
Hi alwaysafrica,

O.k, Muir Woods - There's an easy-access main trail that close to the entrance and goes through the flatter part of the grove where the creek goes through. If you press onward toward the back of the canyon that contains Muir Woods, you come to a more rugged set of trails that go up hill and converge with trails continuing up Mt. Tam. Bootjack Trail is one of them, it's quite scenic and goes through the deepest part of the Woods before emerging on the road beneath Bootjack Camp. Pantoll Trail is another that emerges at a trailhead near a parking lot and campground a little further west than Bootjack. The Matt Davis trail leads up from the forest onto a ridge on the western edge of Muir Woods and also continues further along the flanks of Mt. Tam. It's been a while since I've been out on these trails, but I can say that they all offer a good mix of deep woods and open hillsides. Get a good map and see if you can combine 2 of the trails, easily doable in your 4 hour limit.

I have not done as much hiking in the interior part of Pt. Reyes as I have walking along the beaches. Maybe someone will chime in with their trail experiences. I love Limantour Beach and the little marsh that you cross before getting to the sand. I also love Drake's Beach for its sense of history and the beautiful pale cliffs that loom above it. If you are birdwatchers at all, Abbot's Lagoon is another beach with a marsh leading to it, teeming with birds of many kinds, depending on the season. The lighthouse is also worth going to on a clear day (near sundown would be great). The staircase hike to and from the lighthouse is not for the faint of leg - good thing there are benches on the landings!
dovima is offline  
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Jun 3rd, 2008, 03:30 PM
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I like the Tomales Point trail in the northern part of Point Reyes as it goes through the Tule Elk reserve; the Bear Valley trail from the Visitor's Center is popular as it is relatively flat and ends up at the ocean. Point Reyes NSA has an online trail map so you can get an idea.
SAB is offline  
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Jun 3rd, 2008, 09:57 PM
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 147
Muir woods and Mt Tam are great ideas cuz the driving is way less then going up to Pt Reyes. Ant the views are really great there, too.

The view from Hawk hill at Marin Headlands is also cool.

If you do go to Pt Reyes, you could drive out to the light house and walk around there. Check out their web cam for veiws of the North Beaches from the Light house area. After taking photos there, you could drive to the chimney Rock area and hike aorund that trail. Great views of Drake's Bay and the chalk cliffs.
If it is a windy day you will probably want to stay off of Drake's beach as the blowing sand can be nasty for wee eyes.

suz24 is offline  
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